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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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Us 37, Susan Rice 32, America 24, United States 20, U.s. 14, U.n. 11, Benghazi 11, Collins 11, Washington 11, Syria 11, Romney 9, Obama 9, United Nations 7, Israel 7, Albert Einstein 7, John Kerry 6, Aarp 6, Cymbalta 5, Dana 5, Arwa 5,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    November 28, 2012
    1:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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basically they got duped and sourced the onion's article as if it were actual news. the chinese reported the rave on kim and his devastatingly handsome round face, strong sturdy frame, heir of power that masks an unmistakable cute cuddle bli side. that's it for me. i'm brooke baldwin. i'm in tomorrow morning on "starting point." now to wolf, "the situation room" begins now. thanks very much, brooke. happening now, new troubles for some top members of the obama administration. more republicans senators say they're troubled by what the united nations ambassador susan rice is telling them. and now the acting cia director has some serious problems as well. president obama pulls out all the stops to keep middle class taxes low, but will congress go along with higher taxes for the rich? plus, a long secret u.s. plan, get this, to explode an atomic bomb on the moon.
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what were they thinking? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." today we may be at the tipping point for one of the most important decisions president obama needs to make as he begins his second term. on capitol hill republicans including moderate republicans are sending the president a clear warning, don't nominate susan rice to replace hillary clinton as secretary of state. rice is the current u.s. ambassador to the united nations. she spent a second day meeting with senators trying to explain some of her inaccurate comments she made after the september 11th terrorist attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. cnn's senior congressional
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correspondent dana bash is joining us now from capitol hill with the very latest. what happened today, dana? >> reporter: wolf, it was one thing for susan rice to be criticized harshly yesterday by the three republicans she met with because they had been among her harshest critics, senators graham and mccain. today's meeting was different because she met with a republican who was among the remaining centerist republicans in the senate -- one of the most likely to throw susan rice a lifeline. it didn't happen. >> i continue to be troubled by the fact that the u.n. ambassador decided to play what was essentially a political role at the height of a contentious presidential election campaign. >> reporter: after meeting with rice for more than an hour, collins emerged questioning her judgment in giving the public what turned out to be incorrect information in the days after the deadly attack in benghazi.
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and the main republican was lukewarm about the prospect of rice as secretary of state. if president obama were to nominate susan rice to be the next secretary of state, could you support that nomination? >> i would need to have additional information before i could support her nomination. >> reporter: collins has gone out of her way to support rice in the past. even introducing rice family ties to maine at a confirmation hearing for u.n. ambassador. >> the people of maine are proud of what this remarkable woman has accomplished. >> reporter: whether collins supports rice now for a promotion is crucial because of the raw numbers. rice would likely need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster by these gop senators assuming all 55 senator who is will caucus with democrats next year vote to confirm rice, she would still need five republicans to get to 60. it's hard to see where those five gop votes for rice would be if even moderate collins doesn't
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support her. to be sure, the president has not nominated rice for the post yet. another republican senator who met with rice made clear he thinks it would be a mistake. >> we want someone of independence. i would just ask the president to step back for a moment and realize that all of us here hold the secretary of state to a very different standard than most cabinet members. >> reporter: rice isn't the only one whose attempts to calm criticism about the benghazi attack appear to be backfiring. acting cia director michael morell accompanying rice to the meetings told gop senators tuesday it was the fbi that took references to al qaeda out of these unclassified talking points rice used for her tv appearances. but later in the day morell called to say he was wrong. it was actually his agency, the cia. >> i can't help but feel incredibly disappointed that we were told something at 10:00 a.m. that couldn't withstand scrutiny for six hours and
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that's totally inconsistent with what we were told the day before. we now have five different explanations of who changed the talking points to take out benghazi and four different reasons. this is becoming a joke. >> reporter: it is quite surprising that the acting cia director gave incorrect information on something as politically explosive as the controversial talking points that susan rice used in a meeting with among the administration's chief republican critics. you know, the answer to why he did it according to senators is simply that he misspoke, wolf. >> so a quick question, dana. does that mean michael morell if the president were to nominate him to become the permanent director of the cia he would have problems getting himself confirmed? >> reporter: you know, that's a great question. it's probably too early to say yes to that question. but there certainly is a lot of frustration not just with susan
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rice but with the intelligence community and right now the intelligence community is being represented by michael morell and they are not getting the answers that they want from him and from others. so, you know, it certainly won't be easy if he is nominated. >> yeah. all right. thanks, dana. thanks very much. president obama met with his cabinet this afternoon. it's probably the last time we'll see all of them together in the same room. let's bring in our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. jess, changes very likely in the cabinet for the president's second term. what are you hearing? >> reporter: hi, wolf. well that's right. the president is still in that cabinet meeting. he says they're going to talk about hurricane sandy, the fiscal cliff, some national security issues. but to your question, we already know that secretary of state clinton plans to depart treasury secretary geithner and even defense secretary leon panetta has made it clear he would like to leave within the year. the current white house chief of staff still considered the odds on favorite to get the nod to
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become the next treasury secretary from the president. it's believed he has the greatest chance here it's believed of getting senate confirmation. that leaves open the job of white house chief of staff. and i'm hearing that among the names that are being considered for that role are ron clay, the man once biden's chief of staff and did himself i'm told a great service in president obama's debate prep despite that bad first debate the president takes responsibility for it, does not blame mr. clain. and another name i've heard floated is dennis mcdunna. earned the great respect and admiration of the president. a young man not often considered in that light but the president admires him. but that of course leaves open the question who would take over for secretary clinton and for leon panetta. and those are some dicey questions right now given what dana has just reported about susan rice. >> and michael morell this acting cia director who's going to be the next cia director.
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the president's going to have a full plate of nominations to put forward. what did he say about susan rice today? >> reporter: he was asked his thoughts on ambassador rice, currently the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. i'll let you listen to his remarks then we can talk about it. this is the president. >> susan rice is extraordinary. couldn't be prouder of the job she's done. [ applause ] >> reporter: so from the whole cabinet. little awkward hard to tell if the applause were necessarily for susan rice or right before he said that he had also called out secretary napolitano and the veterans affairs department saying it's their birthday. perhaps they were also applauding the birthdays. but i'm told the fact that susan rice is up on the hill should not necessarily be read as an early sign that the white house is giving her sort of a prerun dry run for a nomination. at this is in part because she wanted to go answer questions on
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the hill to clear her name and that this was part of her desire as well. of course senator kerry also still i'm told a contender for either secretary of state if not another cabinet post as well. >> or secretary of defense if susan rice were to be nominated for secretary of state. i think those applause certainly did from that video clip sound like they were applauding susan rice and her role. and it looked like hillary clinton actually started the applause. she was sitting right next to the president. leon panetta on the other side of that cabinet meeting. we'll continue to watch this story as well. jessica yellin, our chief white house correspondent. a little later by the way here in "the situation room," i'll ask the senate's number three republican if his party will give-in on raising taxes for the rich, also for all of us waiting for tonight's half a billion billion-dollar powerball drawing, we'll speak to a woman who struck it rich in another lottery. e good days.
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as we saw at that cabinet meeting today, the president went out of his way to praise susan rice. listen once again. >> susan rice is extraordinary. couldn't be prouder of the job she's done. >> all right. so what happens if the president decides to be stubborn and nominate susan rice to become the next secretary of state? our chief national correspondent john king is here in "the situation room." what would happen? assuming there would be a filibuster, they need 60 votes to get her approved. >> it's a tough decision by both the president and republicans if he makes this choice. we should emphasize that's a capital i, capital f if he makes this choice. essentially susan rice is seeing if she can get republican minds that are dug in. it's an audition of sorts even though the white house says it's no such thing. for the president, does he want to do this? he's going to have to cut a deal with republicans on the fiscal
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cliff. he has other big issues to deal with. he has several other cabinet nominees. does he want to dig in and pick a fight with someone he has personal loyalty to? what was the biggest problem, college educated women and people of color, do they want to oppose? both sides would have dicey political choices. there's a lot of talk in washington susan rice is undermined politically. it might hurt her in washington, but, wolf, you've covered world capitals. think about the world. if the president were to fight for her, again that's an if, people would say she's obviously his person, he's loyal to her. even someone like colin powell, people always wondered, am i talking to george w. bush or colin powell? will he be undermined by donald rumsfeld or dick cheney? if she wins, her stature might go up around the world. >> even if she were to be confirmed with let's say 60 votes, five republicans would
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jump and endorse her, the secretary of state supposed to represent everyone be a bipartisan leader if you will. it could be a little awkward though. >> it is awkward. you're going into a second term. you want to build your legacy. the republicans are going to have to work with the president on tough other issues, taxes and spending issues. will republicans give him tax increases through reform or higher rates? what about immigration reform? again, what about these other personnel choices? there will be policy issue we're not thinking about today that will come up. does he want a partisan fight right out of the box? that's a big question. but the republicans have to ask themselves the same question. of course what they would tell you is, mr. president, there's an easy pick, pick john kerry, the republicans like one of their own, he's a senator. they also have a political interest in that. if john kerry is elevated to a cabinet position, they eventually has to be a vote in a special election, scott brown just loss. there's a lot of press going on in addition to the president having to make a tough policy
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choice. >> thank you very much. john king reporting. republicans on capitol hill keep asking the president to show them where he wants to cut not just who he wants to tax. joining us now is the number three man in the senate republican leadership, senator john thune of south dakota. senator, thanks very much for coming in. >> good afternoon, wolf. >> before i get to the fiscal cliff and the taxes, spending cuts, are you ready to make an announcement on how you would vote as far as confirmation of susan rice is concerned if the president nominated her to be secretary of state? >> i'm not ready to make that determination right now. but i do think that her meetings up here have raised lots of questions. and there are more reservations about her now than there were before. and that's a problem for her at least with republicans here in the senate. whether or not she could get confirmed, i don't know. but i think she would have a considerable amount of opposition just based on the reaction some of my colleagues have had to the discussions they've had with her here the last couple days. >> but you still have can we call it an open mind?
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>> well, i have an open mind, wolf. clearly i've got the same sorts of questions. but until we actually have a nomination put forward, i think it's all hypothetical. obviously she's somebody who has a lot of experience in working in the diplomatic core and someone who i think is -- has a long background of dealing in foreign policy issues. but she's also somebody who hasn't been willing to answer some of the hard questions that many of my colleagues have had regarding the situation in benghazi. and i think that demonstrates questions about her judgment and how she would be -- how independent she would be as secretary of state. that's obviously something very important in a secretary of state. >> let's talk about the fiscal cliff. the president and other folks are hoping for a deal by christmas. is it doable? >> i hope so. i think there's at least in my view an opportunity here for us to do something that's really good for the country. but it has to be -- it's got to be entitlement reform included in anything that we ultimately act on. we believe that in order to solve the country's fiscal
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solvency issues into the future, you've got to deal with the issue of entitlement reform. that's something so far the president has been reluctant to put on the table. so far what we've gotten out of him is this proposal to raise taxes which we think would be harmful to the economy. and if you look at how much revenue that raises, $68 billion next year, that funds a government for less than a week. and it does potential significant harm to the economy and raises taxes on the very people we are asking to go out and create jobs. >> dick durbin says when you're talking about entitlement reform or cuts in spending for medicare, medicaid for example, he says that's too complicated now. listen to what he said this morning. >> when it comes to medicare, we know that it's going to run out of money in 12 years. whatever changes we want to make should be thoughtful changes not made in the heat of the fiscal cliff. >> can you defer medicare for example -- medicare reform until after you get a deal on the fiscal cliff? >> well, if we do that, wolf, i
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think what you have to do is also defer the issue of taxes. i think you extend tax rates some time into the foreseeable future whether that's six months or a year and allow us to go through the process where we can deal with entitlement reform and tax reform in regular order. i don't see republicans supporting something up here that deals with taxes that doesn't have entitlement reform incorporated into that. so i think right now we're a little bit of a standoff, but the way to solve this would be of course to extend the existing tax rates which is by the way something the president agreed to two years ago when economic growth was stronger than it is today. at that time he said we shouldn't be raising taxes when we have a weak economy. that would be a bad idea. growth today is significantly lower than it was two years ago when he made that statement. we agree it's about jobs and the economy. that's what the president said after the election that he wanted it to be his goal and his priority. we have a difference of opinion about how to get the economy growing again and expanding again. and obviously we have a big
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interest in making sure that we address the fundamental problem and driver of federal deficits and debt. and that's reforming these entitlement programs that are on an unsustainable path right now. >> so but remember the president also said when he extended the 35% tax rate for the upper income for those making more than $250,000 a year, he says -- he said then that was the last time he was going to do it. it was a one-shot deal. he wasn't going to do it anymore. and as you know he ran his re-election campaign on the notion he was going to increase the tax rates from 35% to 39.6% for those people making more than $250,000 a year. you think he's likely to blink on that? >> you know, i don't know. i hope he is at least willing to work with republicans. republicans are open for business up here. if he wants to bring entitlement reform into this discussion -- and you made the comment or showed dick durbin's comment this morning about that would be too hard to do. well, all the work's been done. you've had simpson bolls, a lot of work out there has been done.
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we know what the issues are and what it's going to take the solve the problem. if we can't get that done now, we ought to extend the existing rates into next year. if you raise taxes right now, you according to the joint committee on taxation raise taxes on a million small businesses that supply 25% of the work force. a study out there would cost us over 700,000 jobs in the economy, reduce economic growth by 1.3% and lower take home pay for americans. that's not something we want to do in the midst of a weak economy. go ahead. >> sorry to interrupt. but if the president let's say went along with this notion, we'll defer entitlement reform until next year when we can do it thoughtfully, seriously, we'll defer tax increases until next year when we can do major tax reform across the board thoughtfully, seriously. let's say we extend the current levels of spending and taxes for six months, maybe even a year, as part of this stopgap measure over the next few weeks before december 31st, would you be willing, you, senator thune, to
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raise the debt ceiling right now so you don't have this fight in february or march when it comes up again? >> you know, i think the debt ceiling is something that we would be willing to entertain a conversation about if that would help us get an extension of all these rates and let us do entitlement reform and tax reform the way it ought to be done in regular order. obviously it would depend of course on what kind of request the president makes, how much he wants to add to the debt ceiling, what kind of commitments we can have in terms of spending reductions that would occur to be commensurate with that. we went through this in august of 2011. we were able to get some important concessions. our members want to see spending reductions. they want to see a commitment on entitlement reform. so far we haven't seen that from the president. but if we could get an extension of the things that you mentioned, wolf, and deal with this in an orderly way next year, i think that would be a solution that would attract
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considerable amount of republican support. the question on the debt ceiling, i'm not sure about. it depends entirely on how the president and what he would submit to us. >> all right. senator thune, thanks very much. senator john thune. going to get reaction to what he just said about deferring everything for six months or a year dealing with it more thoughtfully. in the new senate, in the new house of representatives, but in the meantime allowing the current tax rates to continue for the time being, spending to continue for the time being as it currently exists. but get over that debt ceiling issue right away. we'll see what the white house says about that. mitt romney dreamed of living in the white house. he's at least going to settle in for a lunch date tomorrow. a pack of cigarettes could have a new look with new language about what tobacco companies did to hide the risks of smoking. [ gordon ] for some this line is a convenience.
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lisa sylvester's monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now including a bloody day -- another one, in syria's civil war. what happened? >> that's right, wolf. syrian activists say at least 45 people were killed in two car bombings outside the capital of damascus. that city has been a sanctuary for pro-regime forced to flee their homes. the rebels have claimed to down three fighter jets in the past 24 hours. we'll speak with cnn's arwa damon from northern syria later this hour. a federal judge is ordering tobacco companies to publicly admit they deceived americans about the dangers of smoking. the court ruled big tobacco should print on the box and advertisements. it's not clear if tobacco
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companies will appeal this decision. and the self-described king of motivation has died at the age of 86 years old. zig ziglar best known for his seminars and more than two dozen books on salesmanship. he died in dallas after getting pneumonia. he had quite an influence. he had 30 books or so over the course of his life. >> quite a following. thanks very much, lisa, for that. republican raise eyebrows when he said he might break the anti-tax pledge. that statement could also draw him into getting a new primary opponent as far as his re-election is concerned. primary opponent who also happens to be a cnn contributor. we're going to speak to that contributor next. u stay with us, the more you save. and when you switch from another company to us, we even reward you for the time you spent there. genius. yeah, genius. you guys must have your own loyalty program, right? well, we have something. show her, tom.
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all right. let's get right to our strategy session. joining us our cnn political contributor and democratic strategist hilary rosen. also our cnn contributor erick
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erickson editor and chief of redstate,.com. all right, erick, clarify this. are you going to challenge saxby cham blis for the republican senatorial nomination? >> if it's not me, i hope someone does it. it's not until 2014. i've been very dismissive of calls saying run for this thing. but in the last coupl i've gotten a lot of calls from some prominent folks that are throwing out dollar signs of what they can raise and i think i need to treat them more seriously than i have been. i think it's more a barometer that there are people calling me wanting me to run. my wife is firmly in the i will bury you in the backyard if you run camp. i mean, the odds are against it, but it's certainly something to look at. >> he's a pretty conservative guy. i've known him a long time. represents georgia. wlast so bad about him? >> wolf, the problem with republicans in the last ten years or so is you have a lot of people who call themselves
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conservatives thought of conservatives that amount to pro-life status. they love the babies in utero or not but they want to raise taxes or spend as much as the other side. when he got to washington and what the federal spending is more than twice what it was then. he's big on defense spending and agricultural subsidies. those aren't bad things, but if republicans are going to return to their roots and try to be fiscally responsible, they need to stop sending guys to washington okay with the spending as long as they're not raising taxes or in his case pledging to not raise taxes other than saying maybe i will. >> hilary, you're a good liberal democrat. it's probably hard for you to believe saxby chamblis isn't conservative enough for someone like erick. >> oh, it's never hard for me to believe someone isn't conservative enough for erick. what my friend will find when he gets to congress if he ever gets there is something that my other good idea log friend barney
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frank says i was pure until i had to cast my first vote. all of a sudden that kind of ideological purity doesn't really work. what i'm not surprised at though is this hole that republicans find themselves in which is this inconsistency that some spending is okay like if it's agricultural subsidies or, you know, tax subsidies for oil and gas, but other spending is not okay as if it's like tax cuts for the middle class. i think, you know, for erick to be out there on a platform of saying, you know what, the president is wrong. tom cole, republican member of congress is wrong. we shouldn't, you know, pass what we can agree on, which is a tax cut for 95% of the american people, protect middle class tax cuts. what we have to do is fight to the death even over the fiscal cliff to protect tax cuts for wealthy people -- >> what about -- it's not about protecting tax cuts for the rich. >> that's what you're attacking
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him for. >> no. i don't think government should do symbolic things. raise the taxes on the rich, you get eight days of spending -- you get eight days of taxes. where are the cuts coming from? so-called fiscal cliff is a bipartisan deal, it's the root of a bipartisan deal and they ought to go on and take their medicine. we're trying to say right now we're going to trust the guys who came up with the fiscal cliff to get it right this time. there have been 18 debt and deficit commissions since 1980. >> so you're saying they came up with spending cuts that satisfied you, you would -- >> i would go to the clinton tax rates in a heartbeat if we got clinton's gdp spending rates. >> well, one of the things i think liberals are starting to resent also, wolf, is that we are fighting so hard over this sort of modest issue of tax cuts for the wealthy. and people are completely dismissive about how devastating really entitlement cuts in medicaid would be, cuts for daycare and teacher spending and other things. >> we can't solve the problem --
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>> we're starting to feel a little ant si about as this ends up being only about tax cuts. >> we just heard from senator thune, number three republican in the senate. erick, let me goat your thought, he says punt right now. kick the ball down six months or a year, deal with entitlement reform next year in a thoughtful way. deal with tax reform thoughtful in a new senate in the new house of representatives, but just go ahead right now and avoid the fiscal cliff, keep everything as is right now for the time being. erick, what do you think of that proposal? >> if they want to buy themselves more time, go ahead. but, wolf, we've had 18 of these commissions and proposals since 1980. the national debt was $900 billion then. it's $16 trillion now. that's all these guys do is kick the can down the road. they don't actually sit down and come up with plans. and when they do try to come up with plans, it's always either tax increases or spending that never pans out. they came up with a way to raise
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the national debt limit and then they don't want to actually do what they said they wanted to do in 2011. >> hilary, what do you think of that proposal, kick the ball down the road but in the meantime raise the debt ceiling so you don't worry about it in february or march? >> i think the moment is now. the country wants to feel like this election was for something. president obama was very clear in his campaigning about this balanced approach to a budget. and i think now is the time for people to kind of come to the table and act a little less pure like erick would prefer but also as far as i'm concerned a little more in the interest of sort of the average middle class citizen. >> erick, i'm going to leave it right now. but i want to read to you what hotline wrote about your possible bid for the senate from george. and then i'm going to get your final answer on this question. hotline was not kind to you. they said the redstate pun dant is nothing if not a self-promoter and while he has deeply held conservative -- we'd
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be shock first-degree this trial balloon amounts to anything bigger than a page-view promotion. bottom line, are you in this seriously or not? >> i haven't even written about this at redstate. if they want to call it a page promotion or what have you, the hotline guys aren't a fan of mine, but it's something i'm going to consider. >> he's considering it. you heard it here. we're not calling you senator yet. we'll see what happens down the road. erick erickson, appreciate it. hilary, thanks to you as well. it's very difficult to get an accurate look at what's happening in syria's civil war. arwa damon is inside syria and the rebels are showing her how they're getting stronger. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit,
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we now have a rare and
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important look at how syria's rebels appear to be gaining momentum in their fight against the regime of president bashar al assad. our senior international correspondent arwa damon is in northern syria right now. today she and her team were able to visit an area where rebels say they shot down a syrian government jet. she's joining us by phone right now. arwa, thanks very much. you've met with opposition fighters. tell us what you're seeing in northern syria. >> well, they took us to the site of where that jet was downed. and it was scattered throughout an olive grove. young and old alike were combing through it taking out -- picking out their war trophies, showing them off. one old man said he was taking this to show to other villages that they could see what had happened to these planes. because you have to remember that pretty much since this uprising began especially for the better part of the last year these fighter jets, the helicopters, the aircrafts, have caused such terror amongst the
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population that's standing up against the regime of bashar al ass assad. for them this was a significant moment, a significant victory, to be able to see the fighter jets that have caused them so many nightmares now turned into a heap of metal. we spoke to one man who said he was picking olives nearby, he saw the plane being hit. he saw the two pilots ejecting. he and others there then said they did find one of the pilots unconscious with a head injury. they told us that they took him to a makeshift field clinic to treat him. we did see youtube video of that although we don't know what has happened to him since then. but this is not an isolated incident which makes it so significant. in this particular area, wolf, which is around 16 miles away from the city of aleppo in the span of just 24 hours rebels are claiming that they did not just bring down this particular fighter jet but two helicopters as well. >> arwa, it's been a few months
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since you were last inside syria. how dramatically have things changed? >> pretty dramatically. the rebels have made significant developments when it comes to territory that they do control. the fact that they were able to bring down these fighter jets, these helicopters, is as a result of them being able to take over a very large base that is around a half-hour drive away from where that jet was brought down. and what they found on this base was a real treasure-trove of weaponry. and especially for them because what they have been asking the international community for is some sort of ability to be able to take down these aircrafts. and on this base they told us that they found hundreds of anti-aircraft soviet-era missiles. and we could see video posted to youtube as well that did show metal boxes packed with these missiles. and they are tells us that that
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is what they used to bring down these aircrafts over the last 24 hours. so while at this point the regime does still have the military advantage because of the sheer size of its arsenal, many are viewing this development as perhaps beginning to slightly shift the balance. we are seeing them gaining significant amount of territory. we are beginning to see this rebel fighting force trying to organize itself a little bit. fully aware of what a challenge it is and incredibly frustrated with the process in and of itself. so the landscape is really changing by the day here. >> arwa damon in northern syria for us with the rebels watching what's going on. arwa, be careful over there. we're going to stay in close touch with you obviously. we can certainly take it for granted that albert einstein was a whole lot smarter than you or me, but now we're learning why he was such a genius. no surprise the secret lies within his brain. our own dr. sanjay gupta has new
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information. and trying to nuke the moon might not necessarily sound like a genius idea, but that didn't stop american officials from hatching that plot during the cold war. brian todd's standing by. people really love snapshot from progressive, but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. with snapshot, i knew what i could save before i switched to progressive. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. you're not filming this, are you?
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sounds per postrous, but the united states actually hashed a plot during the cold war to possibly nuke the moon. brian todd's got the latest on this bizarre story. i'm tempted to say and i will, what were they thinking? >> well, wolf, all sorts of wild ideas were floating around in the halls of government back in the 1950s. it was the height of the cold war, security scares all around. american leaders felt they needed to give a jolt to the soviet union. so at the time this didn't seem so outlandish.
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>> fire. >> just think of what a nuclear explosion would look like up there. the u.s. government once considered it. cnn has documents and interviewed the leader of a once-secret air force projectin ok would you sayly titled a study of lunar research flights with a low brown nickname project a-119. what was it really? >> to evaluate the value of putting a small -- emphasize small in this world anyhow, nuclear explosion on the moon. >> this physicist now 85 years old led the project in 1958. it was the height of the cold war. america and the soviet union were in a nuclear arms race. the soviets had just launched the world's first satellite sputnik and were ahead in the space race. u.s. officials needed a big splash. >> people were worried very much by sputnik and the very great
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accomplishments of the soviet union in those days. and in comparison the united states feared -- was feared to be looking puny. so this was a concept to sort of reassure people that the united states could maintain a mutually assured deterrence and therefore avoid any huge -- on earth. >> team leaders also thought they could get information concerning the capability of nuclear weapons for space warfare. he says the plan called for an intercontinental ballistic missile to be launched from an undisclosed location, travel 240,000 miles to the moon and detonate on impact. various reports say they considered using a bomb the same size as the one dropped on hiroshima. he says he wasn't in on those discussions. could the blast as some news reports suggest actually blown
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up the moon? >> absolutely not. it would have been microscopic so to speak. it would have left a crater i think essentially invisible from earth even with a good telesco e telescope. >> an up and coming graduate student went on to be one of the most world renowned astronomers. >> we brought him onto look at the propagation of a hypothetical cloud. >> later on he says he violated security when he mentioned the still-classified project on a job application. her widow told us she's not sure if he ever did that, but if he did it wasn't intentional. by 1959 project a-119 was drawing more concern than excitement and was abandoned. >> we didn't want to clutter up the natural radioactivities from the moon with additional bits from the earth. >> he says other factors in killing the project was they
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were not sure of the reliability of the weapons. the possible deterrent wouldn't have been worth the gamble and a lot of public backlash in the u.s. contacted by cnn, the air force would not comment on project a-119 even 54 years later, wolf. >> and you say there was also talk of having nuclear weapons in space. >> that's right. we talked about that in the piece. but reffel said generally in military circles at that time they discussed as having the moon as a military high ground. but it involved in having nuclear launch sites on the moon. the thinking was if the soviets hit the u.s. with nuclear weapons first and wiped out our ability to strike back, the u.s. would strike from the moon. horrendous concepts he hopes that will stay in science fiction forever. >> i love going back and seeing what they were thinking about doing in the '50s. whole different era. most of us won't need advice on how to spend a lottery jackpot. but our guest knows the feeling of seeing the winning numbers on
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lisa sylvester's monitoring some other top stories in "the situation room" right now. including violence flaring once again in egypt's capital. lisa, what's going on? >> wolf, police and protesters scuffled near cairo's tahrir square with arrests of young people many still upset by president mohamed morsi's move to consolidate his power. the muslim brotherhood is supporting nationwide rallies to support the president. the new constitution meantime says it has almost finished its final draft. and the e.p.a. is temporarily banning bp from competing for new government contracts. in the wake of the 2010 gulf oil spill, the agency says it is
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taking action because of bp's "lack of business integrity." as of february bp had $9 billion in contracts with the feds. bp it expects this ban to be lifted shortly. and the manager who oversaw apple's flawed maps program on its new iphone has been fired. rich williamson was fired just before the thanksgiving holiday. he had been with apple for about a decade. the flawed maps app forced ceo tim cook to issue a public apology after the iphone's debut in september. and if you've ever dreamed of an intimate dinner with betty white, well here is your chance. a los angeles chapter of the society for the prevention of cruel tito animals is auctioning off a date with the actress. the winner will join white and the spca's president for dinner. the minimum bid get this, wolf, it's only $1,000. i think we're going to have a number of takers. what do you think? >> i think there will be a lot
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of them no doubt about that. she's a very, very popular lady. lisa, thank you. the first lady of the united states, michelle obama showed off the white house christmas decoratio decorations. she had some very special guests. >> we are also honoring our military families with some very special decorations on the official white house christmas tree that's in the blue room. it's the biggest tree in the house. it's huge. stands close to 19 feet tall. it is one of my favorite trees. this very special joining forces tree is covered with hand-decorated ornaments made by military children living in u.s. bases around the world. it's going to be a great holiday for everyone. and we are just excited to have visitors come through. this is our official opening throughout the holiday season more than 90,000 people will come from all around the world to see this house.
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and i couldn't imagine a better way to get things kicked off by having all of you here with us. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, syria's rebels making gains in their bloody civil war knocking regime aircraft out of the sky. now a former syrian pilot is sharing inside details on his orders to target syrian civilians. the election exposed one major weakness for republicans, diversity. our gop leaders creating more problems by picking white men to head all -- every single one of the committees in the house of representatives? and drones have been invaluable in secret missions over iraq and afghanistan. could they soon be crowding the skies over america? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room."
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there's a stunning development in syria's bloody civil war. while new car bombings near damascus underscore the horrifying totality of the conflict, rebels say they've made a major breakthrough. look at this. the video shows a helicopter taking a direct hit. the rebels say they've downed three regime aircraft in 24 hours. and these other images are said to show wreckage from a downed fighter jet near aleppo. while the rebels may start evening the odds a bit against the regime air power, a top air force defector is giving inside details on problems within the syrian military. here's cnn's nick patton walsh. >> wolf, rebels always
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experience one problem no matter what success they have, regime air power, the ability to be struck from the skies from the significant syrian air force. we've spoken to one former commander of the air force who now of course is talking on behalf of the opposition who gave us a snapshot call it perhaps a snapshot of how he sees this force is weathering recent rebel success. for a week regime air bases and military outposts have faulten daily. rebels now focusing on besieging the bases from where the regime projects its brutal force. that's per bashar al assad's power under the most pressure yet. are the rebel advances affecting them? we asked pilots known to syrians as their first man in space, a teacher to many syrian pilots at a key academy he defected in august. in istanbul he told us pilots would only bomb civilian areas
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indiscriminately if ordered to. >> translator: it is destruction for the sake of destruction. for example, they are asked to target a neighborhood, not a particular place. however, there is no accuracy. >> reporter: random destruction may capture the worst fate for a helicopter crew, this one extremists. it's unclear what happened to them. but life on some air bases we're told is also terrified. the fear of defection means pilots' families are held sort of hostage while they fly. >> translator: the problem isn't how many planes work. it's how many pilots are left that are trusted to fly. they are held captive on their bases some even with their families. so they are not able to defect. there's a large number who the regime does not trust to fly in case they escape with the plane to neighboring countries. >> reporter: rebels say gangs bring new weapons like this surface-to-air missiles probably
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seized from the regime here near aleppo on tuesday they appear to launch a devastating effect though it's hard to prove. but damaging two of the constant bombing runs these aircrafts have made, they need spare parts. and as winter sets in will be increasingly disabled by something as simple as bad weather. >> translator: a plane has a set number of hours that it can fly. so the recent increase in their use decreases the hours they have left in their life span. when there is rain, clouds and fog in winter, it affects the planes and pilots. the type of planes we have aren't able to bomb so well in bad weather. >> reporter: difficulties that give rebels a chance in winter to speed their march on damascus. these men capturing another base too close to its center for regime comfort. after months of stalemate, the narrative of this war finally changing. what's important to remember, wolf, is that as rebels advance
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and collect these weapon catches from bases they overrun, that not only provides them with better fire power to take on the regime aircraft and artillery, it also deprives the regime of key places from which it could normally project that force. so it's a compound effect. while rebels gain, the regime also loses. many are seeing a change in dynamic certainly on the ground and perhaps the syrian air force as the winter months approach will find their ability to hit at will the rebels like they have been for months now find that finally compromised, wolf. >> nick paton walsh, thank you. palestinians heading towards a major victory at the united nations. a general assembly vote that would boost their status on the world stage. the united states and israel have lobbied hard against the move warning it could backfire and actually set back palestinian hopes for full statehood and negotiated peace. but with some key european nations on board, palestinians view the vote as a game changer. cnn's frederik pleitgen reports
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from the west bank city of ramallah. >> reporter: the final rally before heading to new york, palestinian president mahmoud abass addressing supporters. the final decision is to head to the united nations tomorrow he says to enhance the position of palestine to an observers state in the united states and the first step to achieve all our national palestinian rights. if the palestinians win a majority in the u.n. general assemb assembly, the u.n. will recognize palestine as a nonmember observer state like the vatican. its territory to include the west bank, gaza and east jerusalem. >> for the world to begin to rectify a grave historical unjustice that the palestinians had undergone beginning with the creation of the state of israel in 1948. >> reporter: some observers think mahmoud abbas needs the vote to regain authority among
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palestinians. while the west bank remain quiet, the islamist hamas exchanged fire with israel earlier this month. its armed wing shooting hundreds of missiles into israeli territory during a week of conflict. many here believe that could be a first step, the united states has warned the palestinian authority that going to the united nations could thwart any chances of going for full statehood. israel has threatened a strong response should the palestinians seek full statehood. everything from withholding tax revenues to annexation of land currently occupied by settlements on the table. >> we think this is a mistake. it's political theater. the palestinians can get a piece of paper from the united nations, but they're not going to get a statd. palestinian statehood can only be achieved through negotiations with israel. >> reporter: but the palestinians might try to use their new status to bring israeli leaders in front of the international criminal court for
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war crimes they believe israel committed in past military operations. the palestinian bid for recognition might be a largely symbolic move, but it could also redefine the relationship between israel and the palestinians. frederik pleitgen, cnn, ramallah. here in washington the u.n. ambassador susan rice has been making the rounds on capitol hill. but one after another key republicans are making it clear they still hold serious reservations about susan rice and her possible nomination as the secretary of state succeeding hillary clinton. our foreign affairs reporter elise labott is with me right now. elise, is this just about benghazi or are there other issues at play here? >> clearly there's a lot of politics involved, wolf. this enables the republicans to keep hitting president obama on the benghazi issue, but there are going to be a lot of questions about susan rice's record not just as a clinton
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administration official. if you remember there was some criticism of how she handled the rwanda genocide. some sanctions on iran and north korea on syria, it's been a bit of a slog. now obviously there are going to be a lot of questions about benghazi. she's seen, wolf, as one of the president's closest advisors, maybe seen as a little bit too loyal to the president and not independent enough. and her advisors say there could be a little bit of the senate trying to get their man in, john kerry. you've seen some republican senators, senator mccain, today senator collins saying john kerry would be an excellent choice and easily confirmed. >> they would like to confirm their own members. some critics have talked about her personality that shoost too abrasive, too tough, what do you think? >> well, she does have sharp elbows. she is considered someone in washington to be blunt. she's had notorious spats with hillary clinton, richard
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holbrook when he was ambassador to the united nations. and she also had tough criticism for hillary clinton, inflammatory language for john mccain running against president obama. and twitter lately talking about syria and talking about china and russia saying she's disgusted. but her supporters say, listen, she is a tough talker. but you know where you stand with susan rice. and she doesn't mess around. but they also say she's surprisingly down to earth. and she they say has taken the high road with this whole issue with benghazi. she isn't using inflammatory language that's been used with her and others. >> there's a question if the president does nominate her to be the next secretary of state, can she be confirmed? >> many people think that the obama administration has enough votes in the senate to confirm her. the question is, if she does get confirmed, what kind of shape will she be in? it's likely to be a very bruising confirmation process. ambassador rice if she becomes secretary would be leading the
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state department which has tens of thousands of employees, a huge budget. she'd be needing to get the budget through the hill. but i think, wolf, at the end of the day the most important thing is the relationship that a secretary has with the president. she's seen as one of the closest advisors to president obama. and i think at the end of the day, if you look at his defense of her, this defense of her sends an unspeakable message to the country and the rest of the world she would be instrumental in formulating foreign policy. >> she would have the president's ear. she was an assistant secretary of state for african affairs during the clinton administration. and traveling through africa with her at the time former road scholar. obviously she's got a lot of experience. >> certainly has a lot of experience. >> and done a good job at the united nations over the past few years as well. we'll see what the president decides to do. the ball is clearly in his court.
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thank you, elise. three weeks after his election loss, mitt romney will be in the white house tomorrow for lunch with the president of the united states. will he bring ideas for avoiding the fiscal cliff? and more than half a billion dollars up for grabs in the power ball lottery. i'll talk to the man who actually draws the winning numbers. he could make you very rich. g s! make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today. can your moisturizer do that? [ female announcer ] dermatologist recommended aveeno has an oat formula, now proven to build a moisture reserve,
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a bunch of senate republicans are digging in their heels over the possible nomination of u.n. ambassador susan rice as the next secretary of state. they complain about her statements after the attack on the u.s. consulate in libya. today senator collins echoed the comments. she's ranking member of the senate homeland security committee. she's joining us from capitol hill. senator, thanks very much for coming in. >> good evening. >> all right. so you've now heard directly from her. you had some concerns going in.
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were those concerns allayed? >> ambassador rice was able to answer some of my concerns, but not all of them. it still seems to me that the information that she conveyed on those sunday talk shows is not consistent with some of the reporting to which she had access. and thus it painted a misleading picture of what really happened in benghazi. keep in mind that she was on those shows on september 16th, four days after the attacks. the reports were conflicting, but by that time individuals who had actually been within the complex had been interviewed by the fbi, there was the report from the libyan president and there was other information as
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well. >> is it your opinion that she was deliberately misleading the american public? or that she was just reading from those talking points she had received from the u.s. intelligence community? >> ambassador rice not only received the unclassified talking points which are very brief and not very helpful, but she also had access to classified information in the president's daily intelligence brief. so she had a wide range of information and also received telephone briefing. i asked her about that today. i think what she chose to do was to put more emphasis on those reports that supported the narrative of the nonexistent protest of the video being the direct or primary cause of the attacks on our people rather than painting the fuller picture
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which was much more complex. >> and do you believe she was doing that for political reasons? remember september 11th we were all still in the midst of the presidential campaign. and the administration had some political objectives during those final few weeks of the campai campaign. do you think she was doing this for partisan political purposes? >> i can't go that far. but what i will say is i don't think the secretary of state or the u.n. ambassador should be involved in going on television presenting this kind of case with such ser tan tud when there's such ambiguity at that point of what essentially happened and playing role of the administration's defender. those two positions should be above politics. i think that's why secretary clinton refused to go on the shows. it's my understanding that she was the one who was first
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requested. in fact, ambassador rice told me that. so i think she just should have said no and that someone from the white house should have represented the views that the administration wanted put forth those days. >> i know this is a difficult decision for you because you introduced her when she was being -- during her confirmation hearings in the senate as to an effect somebody with a close connection to your home state of maine. you were there. you introduced her to your fellow senators. how difficult personally would this be for you, senator collins, if you decided if the president nominated her to vote against her confirmation? >> it would be very difficult. i did introduce her to the formulations committee for her current job. i was asked to do so. and i readily agreed even though i'd only met her once or twice. but i knew her to be an intelligent and talented person. and i still believe that she's
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an intelligent, talented person. but it's important that the secretary of state enjoy credibility around the world with congress and here in our country as well. and i am concerned that susan rice's credibility may have been damaged by the misinformation that was presented that day. that's one reason as i said that i wish she had just told the white house no, you should send a political person to be on those sunday shows. >> and if john kerry were the nominee, would you have any problems with him as the next secretary of state? >> i think john kerry would be an excellent choice. he obviously has had many years of experience. he's traveled around the world and is respected for his knowledge in foreign policy. and i would predict that he
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would be easily confirmed. >> senator collins, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. extraordinary never-before-seen pictures of albert einstein's brain, brain. up next, our own dr. sanjay gupta with a look at what they could reveal about this legendary genius. made a commitm. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, andver again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's.
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extraordinary never-before-seen pictures of albert einstein's brain have just been revealed. and they could provide clues about how he became one of the greatest geniuses of all time. let's bring in dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay, what can you tell us about a brain by looking at it
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from the outside? >> well, it's a hard thing to do. this is something neuroscientists explore quite a bit. i'll just preface by saying the whole exploration of albert einstein's brain that one of these things in the neuroscience world people have been curious for a long time. i don't know if you can see some of these images here. you're looking at some representations of albert einstein's brain. there were a lot of pictures taken the first time it was examined. one thing to pay attention to you see all these grooves within the brain. and if you think about the fact that when the brain develops, you get many more of these convolutions as your brain develops and grows. if you have more convolutions, more ridges and valleys like you're seeing there, what that means is you have more surface area sort of on the brain. that's a great place to sort of start trying to analyze just what the effectiveness, the impact of all those neurons in that area would be. if you have more grey area like that, you have more neurons and the brain can talk to other
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areas of the brain more easily. now, it doesn't necessarily mean someone is going to be more intelligent, but i think what we can best say is that based on images like that that the capacity is there. there's a greater capacity for the brain to talk to each other in different ways. >> i want to remind our viewers sanjay's a neurosurgeon so he knows a lot about brains. how else does einstein's brain, sanjay, differ from the vast majority of us? >> i want you to look at something very specific here. pull up this one image. if you can see this, wolf, there's -- this is an area the frontal lobe. i want you to look specifically at that yellow area and then there's a red line in between. in albert einstein's brain, that area of the frontal lobe was in fact split into two areas. in most people, again you have large data on lots of different brains. in most people that area's fused together. that's an area of the brain, wolf, that's responsible for a lot of executive functioning. so not just the thinking of
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ideas, but the actual implementation of ideas. the ability to take concepts and do something with them. it's hard, wolf, to make an extrapolation to say, look, this is the explanation as to why he was able to do so many of the things that he was doing, but when you look for some of these differences and figure out what those areas of the brain do, you can start to piece together a brain like albert einstein's. in that area there, wolf, i don't know if you can see it sort of split in two, that's unusual. and it could be an important distinction in terms of his intelligence. >> is there anything, sanjay, about einstein's brain that has implications for mere mortals like us? in other words, is there anything we can learn from these fascinating findings? >> well, one of the things people have been asking almost since the time einstein's brain was first studied was was he born with this? or was this something that he developed? i mean, the old nature, nurture question. there's one area of the brain that sort of gives i think pretty remarkable evidence that
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probably this was more nurture than nature meaning that he developed these skills. he probably had a lot of capacity to start with, but his brain actually probably changed in response to all the ideas and things that he did. this one area of the brain -- i don't know if you can see this, wolf, but you look at an area responsible sort of for your motor function. in this case specifically his left hand function. it's typically associated with people who are really remarkable musicians, which he also was a musician. i don't know if you knew that, but he played the violin. that area of the brain that's responsible for that is not something you are born with. his brain changed probably in response to that music playing. and that's a little bit of insight into other parts of his brain that may have changed as well. we know in that area and also the parietal lobes back up here, they were different in einstein's brain. right to left, in one particular area it was much bigger than in my other brains to which it was compared, wolf. >> fascinating material
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especially for neurosurgeons like yourself. sanjay, thanks very much. tonight's power ball jackpot soaring to a record $550 million. up next, you're going to meet the man who could pull the winning number. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf.
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tonight's record power ball jackpot has soared to a whopping $550 million. joining us now is the man who will be drawing what could be a winning number, sam arlan is joining us now. are you a little nervous about all of this, sam? it's your responsibility to pick out that ball with the winning numbers. >> that's right, wolf. good to be with you. thanks for having me. yeah, it's an incredible night here. we have a record breaking power ball jackpot, an estimated half a billion dollars. so there's a lot of attention obviously. everyone across the country is crazy excited, which makes my job a little bit more pressure-filled. but i'm happy to do it. and i hope that we make someone
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really, really happy tonight. >> how did you get this job? >> right place, right time, wolf. i've been doing the lottery draws now for about eight years here in florida. and florida, you know, hosts the power ball draws. and i auditioned for it and lucky enough to get it. it's been a great ride so far. >> do people recognize you on the street? you go out at 10:59 p.m. eastern and make -- take that ball and make somebody very, very happy, people are watching. >> people are watching. we've had people fly in from all over the country just to come to our studios and watch the draw because they wanted to see how it worked. they watch it from their homes, but they want to see how it looks in person. we're happy to have them in the studio. they have a viewing room, so they can come in and watch. yeah, i go out and people, you know, they spot me as the lottery guy, the power ball guy. it's a great job. i have the opportunity to really change people's lives. and every time i go out on the
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set and pull those numbers, i'm thinking about the person who might be winning that night and how radically different their life could be the next day. >> are you allowed to buy tickets yourself? >> i can't. no. but that's okay. i have the best job. wolf, do you have your tickets yet? >> yes, i do. of course i do. >> you do? good. all right. >> pick my numbers. i went earlier today and there was actually no line where i bought my -- i bought $20 worth. that's ten tickets. i'm hoping one of them wins. >> yeah. channel your numbers. think about them. around here in florida where i am -- i'm sorry. >> i said is that a strategy i should be thinking, looking at my numbers and think of those numbers, channel them to you right now and you'll pick that winning number? is that what you're saying? >> hey, it's worth a try, right, wolf? half a billion. >> can't hurt. sam, thanks very much. we'll be watching you later tonight. sam arlen.
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he's got a big job. going to make somebody, maybe a few people very happy. thanks very much. what would you do with all that money? we're joined now by someone who had to answer that question. cynthia stafford won $112 million. she's joining us from los angeles right now. cynthia, describe your own moment winning that lottery when you knew you had the winning ticket. >> i was just the most excited person on the planet. >> that's it. you knew right away. >> it's a thrilling feeling. >> walk us through what happened in the hours that followed. you're winning $100 million. what goes through your mind? what happens? >> i -- breathe, took a moment. i actually went and stayed in a hotel for a week just to kind of get away from it all. >> did you notify your friends, your family that you had won?
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>> i told a few friends. and my family knew, yes. >> what did you do with all that money? >> oh, i've donated a lot of it. i've started a production company. i've invested in a few businesses, some start-ups. a number of things. >> you're a multimillionaire now. so what's the best thing and the worst thing about winning the lottery? >> well, the best thing is that it will change your life. well, you are able to do things you weren't able to do before. to live a life of i call it the life that you choose. the worst thing i believe is you do lose a few people. and sometimes you have people that come into your life that aren't the best. so it also takes, you know, having some recognition of what you're dealing with in terms of
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this -- of the wealth that's being given to you. >> what do you mean by when you say you do lose a few people? what happened? >> well, i've had people who were dear friends who they didn't feel comfortable being around me with the wealth. so people who were my friends at one point are no longer associating with me. >> was it their choice to walk away from you? >> yes. >> and so you feel bad about that. do you have any advice for people who still are out there, may go out and run out in the next few hours and buy one of these tickets, what advice do you have for them? >> well, my advice would be to not spend more than what you can afford to. and to believe that if you're spending money on winning the lottery, believe that you will do it. that you will win it. someone will win it.
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and, you know, don't play it thinking that you're not going to win or that it's for that other person. >> and just very quickly, you had a feeling you were going to win, didn't you? >> yes, i did. >> tell our viewers. >> well, i don't know. it was just like this feeling that came over me that said this is going to be the one. and this is something -- the amount that i won was something that i had wrote down and had seen in a vision. and i thought, okay, i'll go for it. and what had happened -- it was just an amazing feeling. truly amazing. >> certainly is. i got my ticket right here. i'm channelling this is going to be the one. i'm trying to do what you did. this is going to be the one. all right. i got it. cynthia, thanks very much. congratulations on your big win. thanks for the advice. >> you're so welcome. thank you. >> if there's going to be a little something with this -- if i win with that advice, something in it for you as well,
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cynthia. thank you. >> oh, i appreciate that. the election exposed one major weakness for republicans, diversity. are republican leaders creating more problems right now by picking only white men to head all of the committees in the house of representatives? , havis doesn't hurt. and a santa to boot! [ chuckles ] right, baby. oh, sir. that is a customer. oh...sorry about that. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. fedex office. bp has paid overthe people of bp twenty-threeitment to the gulf. billion dollars [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america.
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the republican party already facing some diversity questions in the wake of the presidential election, they've just unveiled their new committee chairmen recommendations for the incoming republican-led house of representatives. you can see them all here. joining us now to talk about it and more our cnn contributor ryan lizza, he's the washington correspondent for "the new yorker" magazine. not a whole lot of diversity in
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all these prospective chairmen of the new house of representatives. they're all white, they're all male. is this a potential problem for the gop? >> well, it is in a sense though, wolf, there's nothing anyone in the republican house of representatives can do except elect more republican women. i mean, this is the, you know, what was the rumsfeld phrase? this is the army you go to war with. there's only 10% of the republican house caucus is female. and it's about 20 women in the republican house caucus. and nine of them were elected in 2010 and 2012. so they haven't graduated to that level where they would be the head of a committee. >> we don't have the seniority as far as and african-americans or hispanics don't have the seniority among the republican party as well in the house of representatives. >> yeah. this is the republican party. that's who it is. that's who's leading it.
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it's a genuine representation of what the republican coalition is right now. of course that's one of the big lessons of the 2012 election is republicans have to do better with nonwhite voters. that's the bottom line. we're seeing it represented here. >> paul ryan's going to stay on as chairman of the house budget committee even though there were term limits, he's got an exemption from that. >> yeah. >> what's his future? how does that look? >> i don't know. he's been very quiet so far on the fiscal cliff. presumably he'll have a lot to say about that. there's some reporting that has suggested that he's really pushing republicans not surprisingly on holding the line on serious reforms to entitlements. remember the ryan budget, two of the big areas it really went after were depending on the version were social security reform and medicare reform. and steve overmyer far it seems to be that's where he's headed. i'm waiting for ryan to say something to jump into this debate about revenue and whether he's going to hold the line there where a lot of republicans have been modifying their position.
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but so far he's been very quiet since the election's ended. i think he's trying to figure out his postelection role in the gop and maybe whether he's going to set himself up to run for president in 2016 or not. >> i suspect he's got a good future ahead of him, but we'll see. the president has invited mitt romney for lunch tomorrow over at the white house. listen to jay carney, the white house press secretary, talk about it. >> i don't have an agenda for the lunch. the president as he said then looked forward to having this meeting with governor romney. it's a private lunch. only the two men will be in the room. and i'm sure it will be a useful discussion. >> i see a bit of evolution happening in this relationship between romney and the president. do you? >> you know, a little bit. i'm not so sure we're going to be seeing mitt romney and barack obama paling around much. i mean, what role could mitt
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romney honestly play in the obama administration? i mean, is he going to put him in charge of implementing health care? i mean the whole premise of the romney campaign was to overturn the first four years of the obama administration. i just -- on policy i don't see a whole lot of overlap. frankly, obama's a kind of guy who sets -- he has the people around him are kind of set in place. and he keeps them. and he doesn't have a great track record of reaching out to new folks and becoming pals with them. just look at how long it took him to fix his relationship with bill clinton. so i don't see much of a future for the two of them. >> well, i'm a little bit more hopeful. >> i hate to be cynical. >> i'm a little more hoepful. i think there will be a future for the two of them together. on some projects, good projects they both support. i remember bill clinton, george h.w. bush -- >> absolutely. >> a pretty rough ride in '92. >> and bob dole. >> that's right. they've been working together on a whole bunch of stuff. so i think romney and president
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obama are going to do just fine together at some point. >> obama did say he appreciated some of romney's ideas about government reform and perhaps that was an area where he could take some advice. so that's my less cynical contribution there. maybe they can talk about that tomorrow. >> all right. standby. we're going to take a quick break. much more news, ryan, thanks very much. with my state farm pocket agent app. you can also get a quote and pay your premium with this thing. i thought state farm didn't have all those apps? where did you hear that? the internet. and you believed it? yeah. they can't put anything on the internet that isn't true. where did you hear that? [ both ] the internet. oh look. here comes my date. i met him on the internet. he's a french model. uh, bonjour. [ male announcer ] state farm. more mobile than ever. get to a better state. more mobile than ever. ♪...
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as we reported, mitt romney is now stepping back into the spotlight three weeks after his bruising loss to president obama. the rivals are set to have lunch tomorrow. jim acosta is here with more details on what is going on,
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walk us through the process. >> as we reported, mitt romney genuinely thought he would win the election, so it's no surprise he did not have a plan b ready to go. so with the future uncertain, the former gop contender and the president, who were bitter rivals, are starting with a safe lunch. >> just like that, mitt romney was gone from the public stage. but at his victory speech, president obama had over ideas. >> in the weeks ahead, i look forward to sits down with governor romney to talk about where we canwork together to move the country forward. >> i do think he did a terrific job running the olympics. and so after romney pays a visit to his former running mate, congressman paul ryan, lunch, and bipartisan will be served. when the former gop nominee and
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the president sit down at the white house tomorrow. romney's ideas for cutting the waste have wetted the president's appetite. >> reporter: romney's image could use a overhaul. one week after the election, he said the president's campaign was following an old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups, specifically the african-american, hispanic, and young people communities. it didn't take long for romney to be thrown under the gop bus. >> it's nuts. first of all, it's insulting. >> the president may be reve reverting back to his old play book. a move that drew comparisons to lincoln, who appointed his opponents to the cabinet. can romney be added to the obama team?
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>> is is governor romney hear tomorrow in some kind of cabinet level position? some kind of a -- >> no. >> where will mitt romney be after tomorrow? two aides to mitt romney say he is renting space from his son tag's firm. he still does not have a permanent day job and could be available to the president in a future. does that mean a cabinet position? one official said she would be shocked, shocked was the word she used, if an offer was made. >> it's a little early for that, but getting him involved in good causes, if there's a crisis, asking him for help. >> and the president talked about that mitt romney had some ideas that the president liked when it came to getting the size of the government under control,
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and with some of the fiscal cliff issues like controlling loopholes and those sorts of things. >> romney is very patriotic, if the president asks him for help, he will help. >> that's what usually happens. drones may not just be for the war zones any more. they might soon be a common sight in the skies above the united states. what else does it do, reverse gravity? [ laughs ] [ laughs ] [ whooshing ] tell me about it. why am i not going anywhere? you don't believe hard enough. a smarter way to shop around. now that's progressive. call or click today. [ grunting ]
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from my assistant's pc in new york. and before i reached the top, the board meeting became a congrats we sold the company party. wait til my wife's phone hears about this. [ cellphone vibrating ] [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center, working together has never worked so well. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center, of washington about the future of medicare and social security. anncr: but you deserve straight talk about the options on the... table and what they mean for you and your family. ancr: aarp is cutting through all the political spin. because for our 37 million members, only one word counts. get the facts at earnedasay.org. let's keep medicare... and social security strong for generations to come. bp has paid overthe people of bp twenty-threeitment to the gulf. billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years.
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and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. right now, they're used mainly for gathering intelligence, but drones could soon be over the skies in america. lisa silvester is looking into that. >> reporter: right now, only groups with special permission can operate drones in the united
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states. but that is going to change. congress asked the federal aviation administration to find a safe way to expand the use of drones or unmanded systems domesticly. >> the bottom line is by 2015, they ha to have a plan to open the air space to both public and private uas. >> think of the potential from crop dusting, to news traffic reports, to surveying land, to monitoring forest fires. there's a big industry pushing the federal government to open up the skies, arguing these unmanned aircraft systems are safer and less expensive. >> if you're looking at a manned aircraft, it's around a $3 million price tag, but for the
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uas, it be as low as $2,000. >> it can be as large as a fighter jet, or just a couple feel long. people have been flying them for years, but with certain restrictions. you can't fly them higher than 4,000 feet. >> how do you insure safety if the skies become a lot more crowded. >> some of the larnger concerns are the construction of the aircraft, who is piloting them, the actual bandwidth, looking at some of the social issues which we all started to look into as far as privacy. >> it's the privacy piece that edward markie is concerned about. is it possible that this is just
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going to be a rampant eyes in the sky gathering information about americans with no rules whatsoever? >> and it is a growing industry. a study by the teal group put current spending at $6.5 million. a lot of people say that it could bring on a lot of jobs, and there are safety and privacy details that have to be worked out by 2015. lisa, thank you. you're in the "the situation room" happening now, back on capitol hill, reaching for a lifeline from a republican moderate, but susan rice coming up empty handed. and president obama talks fiscal cliff with a dozen of the country's business leaders with. innocent dolphins shot to death
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by humans. we're going up into the air, looking for answers. i'm wolf blitzer, and you're in the situation room. >> a second day of meetings with republican senators didn't go better than the first day for the em battled u.n. ambassador, susan rice. she has been under attack for her statements about the attack in libya. republican criticism remains sharp, and her future fb a possible nominee for secretary of state is questionable at best. dana bash is working the story for us, what happened today? >> reporter: you know, wolf, it was one thing for susan rice to get harsh criticism after yesterday's meeting with senators mccain, graham, and ayote, but it was different to hear the concern from one of the
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last centrist republicans in the senate. >> susan collins would be one of the most likely to throw susan rice a lifeline. it didn't happen. >> i continue to be troubled by the fact that the u.n. ambassador decided to play what was, essentially, a political role at the height of a contentious presidential campaign. >> she questioned her judgment and giving the public what turned out to be incorrect information in the days after the deadly attack in benghazi, and the main republican was lukewarm about the prospect of rice as secretary of state. >> if president obama were to nominate susan rice as the next secretary of state, could you support that nomination? >> i would need additional information before i could support her nomination. >> collins has gone out of her
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way to support rice in the pass, even introducing rice at a confirmation hearing for u.n. ambassador. >> the people of maine are proud of what this remarkable woman has accomplished. >> whether collins supports rice now for a promotion is crucial because of the raw numbers. rice would likely need 60 votes. assuming all 55 senators who will caucus with democrats next year will vote to confirm her, she will still need five republicans to get to 60, and even collins doesn't support her. the president has not nominated her for the post yet. another republican senator that met with rice made clear he think it's will be a mistake. >> we want someone of independence. i just ask the president to step back for a moment, and realize that all of us here hold the secretary of state to the a very
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different standard than most cabinet members. >> hours later, he offered rice fresh, full throated support. >> she is amazing, with that, they broke out in applause. with susan rice, looking on, smiling broadly. >> reporter: now, wolf, i spoke with two members of the republican leadership today, and they say at this point they think it would be tough to see her get confirmed by the senate. on the other side, i have spoken to senate democratic sources who say they're not so sure, because if the president decides to spend the considerable political capital it would take, he could win. why is that? because so far her explanations for giving incorrect information have, for the most part, been in private meetings, she has not been able to do that in public.
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if she does it in public and does it well, she thinks it would be hard for republicans to block her. >> a tough road, indeed. thanks, dana. let's dig a little deeper. kate baldwin is here as well. >> peter bergan writes about susan rice and her remarks in a new piece, and he says this is not conspiracy, this is fog of war. >> peter is here in "the situation room" joining us, and fran townsend is here as well. she is a member of the cia's ex-personal add vie committee. explain what you mean by fog of war, and what she said on those five talk shows. >> we know, think about the coverage of osama bin laden, when he was killed. it was that he died in a fire
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fight and used his wife as a shield, and that all turned out to be wrong. that was just bad information about a chaotic investment on the other side of the world in the middle of a battle situation. and i think the central premise of the republican's attack, basically went away when petraeus testified behind closed doors. he said the talking points she was using was used by the intelligence community. that was confirmed by mike morrell, so instead of a political experience, it was the intelligence community not wanting to tip off the group. it was intended to mislead american's enemieenemies. >> it's surprising to me that when they were all up there with susan rice, meeting with these republican lawmakers, at one point mike morrell suggested it was the fbi that removed the
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words al qaeda, and several hours later, called and said he misspoke and it was are the the cia that did that. two months after all of this, how could he get that wrong? >> it's confounding even to me. ly tell you, what we're seeing here is susan rice is being held to account for what had been a whole series of missteps by the administration in the substantive handling of this and their ability to explain what happened. and every time they may one atmosphere mistake, it fuels a conspiracy theory that there is some sort of political experience behind this. having lived through my share of crisis in the white house, you can't chalk you have to deception what can be explained by the fog of war or just incompetence. they're not coordinating, they have not looked at each other's
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information, and they continue to repeat these mistakes that fuel the ire of congress. >> and she had a series of briefings on the hill now, and i want to play something that she said after her briefing with ambassador rice, listen to this. >> i'm also very troubled by the fact that we seem not to have learned from the 1998 bombings of two of our embassies in africa at the time that ambassador rice was the assistant secretary for african affairs. >> he has her facts right there, but is it fair for the senate tore be comparing those attacks and what happened in benghazi? >> what is factually accurate is during the clinton administration, she was the assistant secretary of state for africa, but that's where the facts stop here.
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there was an accountability review board after the bombingings bombings. and the lessons learned affected across multiple administrations embassy security. we did learn those lessons. there was temporary waivers, and this is really quite different. it is also a failure in terms of the security precautions, but it's quite different than the east africa embassy bombings. >> i want to bring better back into this conversation. one of the things they're going after susan rice for, she said that the u.s. decimated al qaeda, and leaders saying al qaeda seems to be okay even though bin laden is dead, they're still out there and all of these sympathizers. >> yes, the arab spring is almost two years in the making
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and it's been a complicated process. if al-qaeda, the full extent of it's ability to attack the united states, killing four americans, in countries -- many countries in the middle east where these kinds of activities are happening, it's not a very good score for al qaeda. they were not a -- it was an easy target, it was overrun. so i don't think you can say al-qaeda is back. they managed to attack and kill four americans in the middle eastern country. you know, certainly, it's worrisome, but it doesn't mean that al qaeda in any way reestablished itself. >> peter, thanks very much, fran, thanks to you as well. they lead some of the countries biggest companies, and they just wrapped up a major meeting at the white house about the so called fiscal cliff, they met with the president, we'll find
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have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp. don't wait. call now. a lot to talk about the so-called fiscal cliff. we will face tax heights unless we reach a debt reduction deal. there is no public evidence of progress in fiscal cliff negotiations as of this moment. sometimes on capitol hill, people suggest no leaks is good news. but others suggest the two sides are simply staring each other down on the key obstacles and posing for pictures in the meantime. >> there was plenty of public
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pho photo-ops around town. >> but in private, few signs of progress among negotiates. one veteran house republican is making waves, essentially agrees with president obama. >> my view is that 98% of my constituents don't need a tax increase. >> i applaud representative kohl for that common sense and brave position. but one key sticking point is taxes. democrats want to extend the tax rates and allow them to jump for wealthier americans. and cole said he does not
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recommend a tax hike for the wealthy. >> we all agree that we're not going to raise taxes on people that make less than $250,000. we should just take them out of the discussion right now. continue to fight against any rate increases, and don't to work for a bigger deal. >> is this the sign of a movement? it was quickly shot down by john boehner. >> i want your take on the comments -- is this the direction that the conference is going? >> i told tom earlier in our conference meeting that i disagreed with him. we'll put revenue on the table as long as we're not raising rates. >> i think he is wrong and most of the congress thinks he is wrong. >> so talks continue behind the scenes with the photo-ops out
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front. >> i'm told speaker boehner was surprised by congressman cole's remarks when he heard them today. they said they believe a measure to extepid just the middle class tax cuts would pass if brought for a vote in the house, but republican aides say there is no plans for that as well. we learned late this evening that timothy geithner, and rob neighbors, a liaison for the house, are coming to meet with boehner and other leaders in separate meetings, so that is a very important meeting. what comes of that, of course, is encouraging. we'll see what comes of it. >> and geithner the point man. >> and later tonight, i will be speaking with tom cole.
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we'll talk about why he decided to side with the president on the issue of the middle class tax cuts at 8:00 eastern only here on cnn. a race again time to solve crimes against dolphins. someone is killing them near a crucial breeding ground. . the distances aren't getting shorter. ♪ the trucks are going farther. the new 2013 ram 1500. ♪ with the best-in-class fuel economy. engineered to move heaven and earth. ♪ guts. glory. ram. ♪ i've been a superintendent for 30 some years at many different park service units across the united states. the only time i've ever had a break is when i was on maternity leave. i have retired from doing this one thing that i loved. now, i'm going to be able to have the time
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huge protests and fresh violence in egypt's capital. kate has that. >> that's right, these latest demonstrations may risele the protest against -- the anger may
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get fuelled as early as tomorrow with a possible vote on the country's controversial new constitution. we have details from cairo. >> reporter: initially, a 100-member panel was designated to write this constitution. but there has been a lot of controversial. several members quit, others sued to dissolve the panel and is it a fact over. if egypt's new constitution is grafted by this panel, as it stands now, it could certainly fuel the outrage that we're seeing in tahrir square. >> more of that to come. the u.s. government is banning oil giant, bp, from bidding on new federal contracts.
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they recently pled guilty to criminal charges. the environmental protection agency says it's temporary until they can show it meets federal business standards. >> also, in new jersey, the c t costecost estimate of the damage from hurricane sandy was upped to $36.8 billion. in new york state, it's $42 billion. and a notorious piece of dallas history is going to be gone forever. the owner bought it in 2007 be the intention of preserving the dilapidated building. the demolition deadline, wolf, is friday. and history will be gone.
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. some of the country's top business leaders just wrapped up a meeting at the white house with president obama. >> among those taking part are the ceo of home depot, coca-cola, and over half a dozen others. >> and the ceo of goldman sachs is joining us now. you met with the president today, where do you stand on this issue, a sensitive issue, of raising taxes for families making more than $250,000 a year? >> wolf, we have to have a solution to this budget crisis. it's going to take more revenue, and it's going to take cuts in
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entitlements, and i think as soon as people leave their ideological perch, and realize that we need a compromise, it would help everybody. >> does that mean that you would support the president there that says raise that percent from 35% to 39%, where it was in the clinton administration? >> i think if that's what it took to make the math work, when you looked at the entitlement and revenue side, i would not procollude that. of course we would have to do that if the numbers drive that way. there is nothing -- that's not an extreme point of view, i would not be cemented about that at all. >> that's a stronger position than you've taken in the past, what changed your view? >> i said there has to be balance, there has to be -- it has to be responsible, and i
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think both sides have to yield. at the end of the day, it's a divided country. it's not a winner take all in this, because we don't want to go off one wall, and go off the over wall when the administration changes or every two-year congressional cycle. i think there has to be compromise. i said in the past that the numbers will drive you to more revenue, and i'm ideological. i prefer, and i think it's better to have has low of a margin rate as possible, because that's the incentive, is the marginal rate, but if we had to lift up the marginal rate, i would do that. >> what about the republican argument this if you raise taxes on anyone in a time of economic disstress, it will hurt growth. >> i think that's true, and i think it will also hurt the economy as a whole if we have a widening budget deficit that gets harder and harder to finance because of the
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credibility of the united states is at risk. if this were easy, we would not be standing here talking about the white house about how to achieve it. it's going to be difficult. i think what we try to do is get in as good of a place as we possibly can. i would rather have more of the taxes deferred to beyond a period when the economy is weak. i would rather have the pain of release, expenditures, also rolled forward, maybe changing, you know, means testing and raising entitlements and dates, and have that kick in at some future time, but also there are other values at stake here, namely, trying to get those lines to start to converge, so the deficit is not permanently expanding. >> if the republicans goat a point of agreeing on those tax rates, that's a major move. i was on the hill today and the republican leaders made clear
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they're not going for that, they're not going for that at least right now. if republicans would do that, you know it takes two to tango, where do democrats need to give. >> i don't speak for the democrats or republicans, i'm not a member of the democratic or republican leadership. >> but they're seeking your advice. >> i'll give you my advice, i'm a citizen of the united states. the success of my business, me, and my family personally correlate with the success of the united states. i would like to not have a crisis that will wreck the economy and derail the recovery, and i would like the upside of tapping into all of the energy starting to well up in this country that favors the competitiveness of the united states like all of the money on the sideline, that we finally chewed through a lot of the problems that we had over the last several years, like the great energy situation available in the united states. i think we're at the -- i would
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not -- we only talk about the fiscal cliff, how about being on the precipice of great advantages for the united states. i would like to take advantage of that. that's my personal and business interest. >> and from investors across the board, everyone with money in 401 ks, what would happen if the country goes over the fiscal cliff, and there is no deal next year, and you have a problem with raising that debt ceiling again. >> i don't know exactly what will happen, but i know it will be bad. you, again, the united states has great credit. the united states still borrows cheaply. but at some point, there will be competitors to the united states for that. by the way, even if there weren't, you need the united states and the leadership of the united states to help drive the global economy. you know, listen, at the end of the day, i don't want to quibble
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about the tax rate. the more important thing is to increase the size of the wealt y high, and you pay a lower margin of rate because the economy is impaired, that's crazy. i would rather get the country on the prooper footing as the most important objective. >> you say that you also -- >> can i just say also, but entitlements are also important here. i just came from europe, and i have a lot of confidence, last week i informs europe, and i have a lot of confidence they will work through their problems. but i'll tell you, it's a lot easier not to get to that place in the first place, than to try to solve the problems of pulling back on entitlements. the problems in europe is that entitlements vastly exceeded the scale of their ability to generate revenue.
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>> lloyd, thank you for your time this evening. >> thank you. >> so what do americans think about all of this? a majority support raising taxes on the wealthy. that's what polls are showing us. 60% support it, that's a cording to an abc news washington post poll. our orc poll finds similar results with 36% saying taxes on the wealthy should be kept low, 56% say taxes on wealthy americans should be kept high. speaking of money, we're less than five hours away from tonight's historic $550 million powerball drawing. let's go to mary snow, who is joining us from one of the lines, what do you need to do first, for example, if you win. it's a question that a lot of people would be able to have that answer and they're looking
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forward to winning. >> yeah, just about everybody we talked to today, wolf, says they already thought about the first thing they would do if they're winning. as you see, behind me, as we get closer to that jackpot, this convenience store is seeing more and more people come in and take that chance. but one lawyer who deals firsthand with winners says yes, it's such a dream, but it's also nerve racking. >> at this louisiana food mart, powerball ticket lines good in line for a dream. storeowners put up these makeshift signs to keep up with the jackpot. juan hernandez decided to play his first ticket today. >> i found $10, so i decided to use $2 of it. >> one customer after another
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shrugged off the odds of winning to the idea of a new life. >> you see the shock in them, you also see the immediate need to want to stay within themselves. >> attorney jason kerland has supported big winners, he says since most states don't allow winners to stay anonymous, he set up trust fund to try to guard their names. >> within the hour i had e-mails, calls, for donations and investments. >> he advises his clients to leave it to professionals and lock it away. one economist who tracks these kind of jackpots doesn't expect several winning tickets. >> one or two winners is the most likely outcomes. >> there's no shortage of people
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dreaming it would be them. >> i would have to sit calmly down, i would hope, and just start making plans. wife, three kids, and a business. there's a lot of planning. >> a lot of day dreaming going on, wolf. new york is just one of 42 states along with washington dc, the virgin islands, just to give you an idea of what sales are like here in this state, officials are saying this afternoon they were seeing sales pick up to the tune of about $3 million per hour in sales. >> tell those people they don't have to waste their time, because i, i want you to take a look at this, i have in my hand, the winning powerball ticket. i have the feeling. i'm feeling it right now. i believe these, i spend $20, i have ten chances of winning. >> you have ten chances of winning, and what are the chances of not winning?
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>> i think it's one in 175 million. >> that's only if you spend $2, i spent $20, all of dlsh. >> if i win, it's going to be hilarious at work tomorrow. >> thank you, mary. critical advance is a very serious subject coming up. we have a reporter on the ground inside syria, arwa damon is there, risking her life to bring you our next story. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf.
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bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. of washington about the future of medicare and social security. anncr: but you deserve straight talk about the options on the... table and what they mean for you and your family. ancr: aarp is cutting through all the political spin. because for our 37 million members, only one word counts. get the facts at earnedasay.org. let's keep medicare... and social security strong for generations to come.
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syrian rebel forces claim
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they have shot down three military aircraft in the last 24 hours. arwa damon is there, arwa, tell our viewers what you're seeing. >> we were, earlier at the sight of where a fighter jet was shot down using, according to rebel fighters, a surface to air missile. i have to say, at the scene, those who were there, villagers, picking through the debris, picking up pieces of metal, showing scraps of metal that he collected that he wanted to take to show to other villages. let's not forget that on too many occasions, all too often, the sound overhead would cause nig nightmares and now they're a trophy of war.
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people have been feeling the brunt of the air power. many of them saying this is now the greatest victory. one eyewitness said he was picking olives very close by. he saw the plane being hit, and the pilots ejecting. at that point, everyone in the area fanned out looking for them. they found one pilot who was unconscious with a head injury. he was taken away to a makeshift field clinic. we saw video of him in the clinic still appearing to be off conscious. a voice off camera saying had is the fate of your pilot. a very significant development. as you were mentioning there earlier, it's not that they brought down this one fighter jet, but in the last 24 hours, two helicopters as well. >> are they beginning to sense they're winning, arwa? >> in this area, it is around 15
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miles outside of town, and they're viewing it as a significant event. what led to it was a battle that was fought very close by at a massive air base just over a week ago. and when the rebels finally took over that base, they found among the rocket propelled grenades, tapgs, and tacks of metal boxes, packed with ain't aircraft missiles, hundreds of them, but not all of them are funging, but this, certainly, given what we have seen over the last 24 hours, is shifting the balance ever so slightly. let's not forget that the regime does thil have the military advantage thanks to the sheer size. we're not seeing them gain much more territory than they have in the past. it was huge areas that one would not have been able to drive through in the last month
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without coming across government forces are now firmly in rebel control. >> be very careful over there, arwa. >> she does amazing work and always has. an apparent serial killer targeting dolphins.ro an-inspire, but it's not from germany. ♪ a powerful, fuel-efficient engine, but it's not from japan. ♪ it's a car like no other... from a place like nother. introducing the all-w 2013hevrolet malibu, our greatest malibu ever. ♪ when we got married. i had three kids.
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mysteries unfolding along the gulf coast that is as heartbreaking as it is disturbing. >> someone is murdering and mutilating dolphins and the race is on to find the killer. >> to reach the crime scenes, you need to catch a rise and take a guide. >> this island to our left is deer island where you found two of them?
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>> that's correct. >> a harrison county sheriff took us to see the sights where most of the murdered dolphins have emerged along the mississippi gulf coast. >> how many dolphins have tuned up killed so far? >> we have been dealing with about six or seven. we know at least three or four of them were killed with bullets, and the other ones have been mutilated. some have tails or jaws cut off, or a screwdriver in them. >> what do you take away from that, b what does it tell you? >> i think it's kind of a sick ritual of some sort. >> someone getting a thrill out of this. >> i can't see a reason other than than committing a horrific act to do something like that. >> the pictures of the mutilated dolphins are disturning to look
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at. they clearly show signs of attack. some are too gruesome to show here. >> is it a serial killer of dolphins? >> there is a der ranged person out there doing something cruel and senseless. who's out there this. >> reporter: investigators say they don't know if the dolphins are threatened by a group or by one killer. >> they're very curious and i think by getting fed, out in the wild, they will get fairly close. >> so they can get themselves into a bad situation, unexpectedly? >> right, i think they get close without realizing they're going to be in any kind of danger. . >> reporter: that's why it's actually illegal to feed
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dolphins in the wild. >> i have never seen a dolphin that's been shot in 22 years. >> reporter: it seems somewhat more difficult to investigate something like this, if you have a murder of humans, you have evidence, there's a crime scene. >> right. >> reporter: this you don't. this crime scene is huge. >> on the first dolphin that was recovered, they do have the bullet, they did recover the bullet. how much that will help i don't know. but like you said, you have got so much area here. this is much different than any other crime scene. >> reporter: in the next few months, females will move in to give birth and slahe fears that baby dolphins will be targeted.
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>> the marine mammal protection act states that anyone conflicted of killing a dolphin could be sentenced to one year in prison and fined up to $1,000. he's the man responsible for leaking stories around the world. what does he have to say? >> well, wolf, we're going to be talking to him live at 7:00 tonight. as you know, bradley manning, who the u.s. government says leaked hundreds of thousands of classifi classified cables is awaiting trial. and at the center of the controversy is julian assange. he's going to talk to us in the equadorembassy. he will be extradited to sweden
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where he is facing assault charges or to the united states perhaps for charges of espionage and hennilping a foreign enemy. >> we'll see you at the top of the hour. ahead forgot that $4 latte, now starbucks is offering a new coffee for $7.
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you probably heard by now that experts have determined that the mayan calendar predicts
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some kind of -- one man spent $160,000 building an ark. in case there's no apocalypse, he hopes to make it into a tourist attraction. it may not necessarily be a sign the apocalypse is coming, but starbucks has just introduced a 7:00 cup of coffee. je je jeanie mos went looking for someone who would. >> reporter: how about a bank so we can afford the new coffee so we can afford the rare coffee beans.
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actually $7 just for the medium, the grande, you could skimp and for $6 get a small. it was introduced at 36 starbucks stores in the pacific northwest. >> is that something you would buy? >> no, not at all. >> reporter: for some people coffee tasting is like wine tasting. people like melanie overton who runs a fan site for starbucks enthusiasts who were giddy over sampling a rare cup of coffee. >> i noticed all of these flavors and to have so much g going on in a cup of coffee. >> reporter: so how does it taste? this coffee is expensive because it grows at high altitude and there are fewer cherries per tree.
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jimmy kimmel's staff asked people if they could pick the new starbucks coffee. >> i think this one, because it has a distinctive taste. >> i'm going to mention that we didn't even bother to get the coffee. we put the same coffee in both cups. >> this one just tastes richer, it has a beanie taste. it tastes like a bean. >> i would put $2 to $3 on this cup preferably over this cup. >> it all tastes the same. >> reporter: that guy is using his bean. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> are you going to spend $7 for a grande black coffee? >> uh, no. but can you